A Muslim woman filed the third Abercrombie & Fitch headscarf lawsuit on Monday in a San Francisco federal court, alleging that she was fired after she refused to remove her hijab while working.
The incident, which took place in one of the company's Hollister stores near San Francisco, was deemed to be an illegal firing by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which has also reportedly filed its own lawsuit against the company.
According to plaintiff Hani Khan, she was originally permitted to wear her headscarf so long as it was in company colors, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. However, after a district manager visited the store, she was told she would have to remove her hijab while working.
Fired for refusing to do so, she took her case to the EEOC, where investigators determined that Abercrombie & Fitch violated protections against religious discrimination in the workplace.
What’s particularly interesting about this case is that this is the third time that the company has been accused of discriminating against Muslim women who wear headscarves.
In 2008 and 2009, two job applicants filed lawsuits after being denied employment because they wore hijabs, reports the Associated Press.
If Hani Khan is successful at trial, these prior incidents will certainly impact her recovery, as they show a pattern of disregard for the religious rights of Muslims. This can put her in the running for punitive damages.
Consider keeping an eye on the Abercrombie & Fitch headscarf lawsuit, as this very issue seems to be cropping up more and more.
- Abercrombie & Fitch sued over scarf firing (San Jose Business Journal)
- Religious Discrimination (FindLaw)
- Abercrombie Sued for Religious Discrimination, Again (FindLaw’s Law & Daily Life)